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Local vs. National SEO

How you optimize your website for SEO changes if you’re targeting a local demographic or a much wider audience. Choosing the right method can help you rank in the top search results and attract valuable customers. In this post, we’ll discuss the similarities and differences between local and national SEO and help you determine which you need.

The Similarities

All search engine optimization (SEO) is a set of steps that will help people find your website because you can be found easily in search results. The closer your website is to the top of the page of results, the more traffic you’ll get. Both local and national SEO work this way.

Both methods of SEO accomplish this task primarily through:

  • Content marketing
  • Internal link building
  • Backlinks
  • Guest posting

Content marketing includes blog posts, videos, and social media posts. It gives people something valuable to find to start and nurture a relationship with your business. 

Links within your site to other pages on your site help your visitors find useful information and make your website more appealing to search engines like Google.

Backlinks are links from other websites to your website. This helps Google determine that you have a valuable website (authority) and rank you higher in search results.

Guest posting is publishing posts on other websites to spread the word about your business and build more backlinks.

Tip: creating a resources page on your website with links to other websites that would be valuable to your customers is an easy way to get some backlinks.

The Differences

The primary difference between local and national SEO is the keywords you target. You might target general words like professional framing if you can serve customers pretty much anywhere, but if you only serve local customers, you’ll need to choose more specific keywords like professional framing in Chicago.

National SEO is much more difficult, so it will require a more powerful strategy and a larger budget to implement. You will waste a lot of effort and money trying to rank for a general keyword among all the competition if all you need is local customers. Similarly, you will need a more aggressive SEO campaign to compete in a mid-size or large city than you will in a small town. 

Knowing Which to Choose

If you have a local business that only serves customers in your area, there is no reason to target broad keywords that will cause you not to rank or attract people that your business can’t help.

How to use local SEO:

  • Make sure the name of all towns you serve appear on your website and in your target keywords. 
  • Have website pages for each town you serve.
  • Utilize the power of a social media presence and make the best use of SEO by mentioning the town or city in your posts and profile information. 
  • Set up and utilize a Google My Business profile.

If you have a business that can serve customers all over the nation or the world, such as someone with an online business or who offers digital services, you want to attract everyone who fits your target market no matter where they are. This is more difficult because you have much more competition for your keywords, but it is very doable with the right SEO campaign.

How to use national SEO:

  • Target keywords that more heavily reflect your services or products.
  • Make more use of backlinks and guest posts.
  • Discover what your competitors are doing and develop a strategy to compete.
  • Utilize the power of social media and work aggressively to build and maintain a following.

As your business grows, you may go from only needing local SEO to also needing national SEO. Be prepared to ramp up and tweak your SEO efforts to accommodate your growth. The good news is that your website will already have a solid reputation with search engines making your national growth a bit easier. Start adding more general keywords and more general content on your blogs and social media to target your new keywords and suit your new customers. 

Capture your target audience with Capstone Digital Marketing

Someone advertising a local business in a small town may be able to manage their SEO themselves, but if you’re not reaching your website goals, you should contact a professional for help so you can see the results your business deserves. Local businesses in mid-size and large cities or those with a national or global customer base need expert SEO services to succeed. Contact us to learn how we can help you.